The never-ending coastline of Australia, at 25,760km, is not short of surprises. From the Barrier Reef regions, to the northern Timor Sea, to the Indian ocean west coast, the country’s colossal coastal scenery varies from the gentle and serene to the bright and beautiful.
The elation of finding people-free beaches never diminishes. Which is why South Australia’s Limestone Coast remains one of my favourite tranquil-beach discoveries. Nestled on the South Australia coast, before crossing the State border to Victoria (half-way between Adelaide and Melbourne), this section of coast, facing the Antarctic Sea, is as silent and calm as its flat horizon beaches and crystal-clear paddling waters.
It’s a perfect self-drive destination, with mile after mile of deserted vehicle-friendly beach scenery, to accompany the gentle Coorong National Park wildlife regions to the north, and the incredibly quiet coastal settlements, such as Mount Benson, Robe and Beachport to the south. For me, the calm beauty of such an open coast with empty beaches and windswept coastal routes perfectly complements the exciting inland regions. Whether driving along the deserted Long Beach, planning a dive to one of the 70 shipwrecks, exploring one of the local caves or simply parking up at one of the coast-view benches, one’s grip on time soon drifts away with the gentle lapping of surf-free coastal waters.
Indeed, the Limestone Coast creeps up on you. International visitors often discover it by chance, rather than plan a trip to it, preferring to focus on the more dramatic Great Ocean Road areas nearer Melbourne. So my advice is to try and extend your time to take in this region. Driving, walking or staring across some of these soft coastal wildernesses is good for the soul.
Whether camping or holing up in a coastal settlement, the region remains high on my list of ‘when-I-write-a-book’ locations. Equally, when I finally plan to paint some away-from-it-all big-sky coastal scenery, I will be breaking out the Limestone Coast map.
Without doubt, it is a great place to lose track of time and disappear from all things urban. Whatever your travel schedule, make sure you build in enough time to soak up the Limestone Coast.